Me vs. UMC (United Methodist Church) ⚠TRIGGER WARNINGS⚠

had a phone interview with the newspaper lady. It went well. Discussed anonymity. She will soon be contacting UMC to corroborate the emails that I shared. That should prove interesting.
talked with the reporter today (been conversing on and off this whole time). After extensive research (she had not elaborated, but I gave her a bunch of leads), she is going ahead with the article. Will use my real name but will simply say "who now lives out of state". She has her editor's approval. She will ask me more questions in writing later this week but it seems like the article will go to press during October.
 
She will ask me more questions in writing later this week
I already heard from the reporter last night - she only asked me a few questions for clarification (all the information I have already included previously on this board).

She then told me she was planning on asking ["Mr. Assistant"] about additional verification of some of the email statements I have shared that she plans on including in the article, since they are a direct quote from him.

I then received the exact email CC'd to me later last night.....

*********************

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 8:34 PM

Hi ["Mr. Assistant"],

This is ["Ms. Reporter"], from the [local newspaper] – the newspaper in [county where the abuse took place]

You and I spoke last month about the letter from [Rev. M-P] that [Kal] forwarded to me. You verified that it was authentic, which I appreciate.

[Kal] forwarded the following email that you sent to him. I just wanted to verify these parts are correct. I’ve cc’d [Kal] in this email.

We have no intention of writing out full details of any of the abuse. But since it seems clear from your correspondence, that you are concerned about victims’ healing and closure, the following statements seem pertinent:

-----------------------

Here is a synopsis of what I've found. It corroborates your story. Bishop [Regional Bishop of state where abuse happened] and cabinet members of [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened] were very helpful in getting access to [Rev. M-P]’s file. I was, actually, surprised that we still had files given the dates we were looking for and that fact that [Rev. M-P] died in 2014. I found your complaint of 1987 and two other complaints against him. The other two were lodged in 1991 and 2007, but interestingly, they too were for earlier incidents. So, while your complaint was the first, the other two were reports of inappropriate behavior preceding your experience. Like so many of these situations and for many different reasons it takes a long time for persons to come forward.

While I cannot reveal the details of the other cases, I can tell you that they resembled yours and dated back to incidents in the late 1960s and 1970s. At least two persons were abused with allusions to others as well. As a pastor for fifty five years, I am ashamed and angry to learn that a clergyman was able to get away with such injurious behavior for so long. It is entirely incongruous with the work of redemption and wholeness and puts a mark of hypocrisy on a reputation that was outwardly portrayed as righteous and loving.

The code of silence that has so long surrounded such behavior is complicit in the harm done to you in 1984. Had it been reported in the earlier incidents I doubt that [Rev. M-P] would have been in ministry at your church in [city where the abuse happened]. It looks like your refusal to be silenced brought an end to [Rev. M-P]’s destructive behavior. At least that is how it looks from the record. Two things were at work. Within months of your complaint [Rev. M-P] was retired. He was also required to enter into a therapy program for such offenders on a weekly basis from June 3,- September 30, 1987. Being out of ministry brought an end to his access to young persons. Hopefully his therapy also put a stop to inappropriate behavior.
 
Inspiring Kal. This is healing in capital letters. Not all of us have the circumstances or occasion to take such affirmative action. Since my abuse was by family and neighbors over seventy years ago there really isn't meaningful recourse to be taken. But following men here, including you, who are speaking up on their behalf is heartening to say the least. This trauma needs to be known and acknowledged... no more secrets... no more carrying confusion and shame all alone. Thanks for keeping us all informed of how things are progressing. Deep respect to you for it all.
 
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I already heard from the reporter last night - she only asked me a few questions for clarification (all the information I have already included previously on this board).

She then told me she was planning on asking ["Mr. Assistant"] about additional verification of some of the email statements I have shared that she plans on including in the article, since they are a direct quote from him.

I then received the exact email CC'd to me later last night.....

*********************

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 8:34 PM

Hi ["Mr. Assistant"],

This is ["Ms. Reporter"], from the [local newspaper] – the newspaper in [county where the abuse took place]

You and I spoke last month about the letter from [Rev. M-P] that [Kal] forwarded to me. You verified that it was authentic, which I appreciate.

[Kal] forwarded the following email that you sent to him. I just wanted to verify these parts are correct. I’ve cc’d [Kal] in this email.

We have no intention of writing out full details of any of the abuse. But since it seems clear from your correspondence, that you are concerned about victims’ healing and closure, the following statements seem pertinent:

-----------------------

Here is a synopsis of what I've found. It corroborates your story. Bishop [Regional Bishop of state where abuse happened] and cabinet members of [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened] were very helpful in getting access to [Rev. M-P]’s file. I was, actually, surprised that we still had files given the dates we were looking for and that fact that [Rev. M-P] died in 2014. I found your complaint of 1987 and two other complaints against him. The other two were lodged in 1991 and 2007, but interestingly, they too were for earlier incidents. So, while your complaint was the first, the other two were reports of inappropriate behavior preceding your experience. Like so many of these situations and for many different reasons it takes a long time for persons to come forward.

While I cannot reveal the details of the other cases, I can tell you that they resembled yours and dated back to incidents in the late 1960s and 1970s. At least two persons were abused with allusions to others as well. As a pastor for fifty five years, I am ashamed and angry to learn that a clergyman was able to get away with such injurious behavior for so long. It is entirely incongruous with the work of redemption and wholeness and puts a mark of hypocrisy on a reputation that was outwardly portrayed as righteous and loving.

The code of silence that has so long surrounded such behavior is complicit in the harm done to you in 1984. Had it been reported in the earlier incidents I doubt that [Rev. M-P] would have been in ministry at your church in [city where the abuse happened]. It looks like your refusal to be silenced brought an end to [Rev. M-P]’s destructive behavior. At least that is how it looks from the record. Two things were at work. Within months of your complaint [Rev. M-P] was retired. He was also required to enter into a therapy program for such offenders on a weekly basis from June 3,- September 30, 1987. Being out of ministry brought an end to his access to young persons. Hopefully his therapy also put a stop to inappropriate behavior.
Good brave work you are doing
 
I have a few more updates on this that I will be posting soon, but I wanted to update you....

The reporter has FINISHED her article and it will be published this week, probably TOMORROW.
 
I will post a [redlined] copy of it here. if you want the actual version, let me know -- Send me a PrivateConvo Message.
 
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Here are all the most recent emails between myself and the reporter (article should post later today!!!)

**************************

Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 3:38 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]

(very nicely worded, btw)

will I be able to see the final article before it is published??

- [Kal]

********************************

Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 3:47 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

Thanks.

Regarding seeing the final article before it is published – No, we don’t let people review stories before they are published.

Yesterday, I read to you what will probably be the lede (first sentence).

Is there something you are specifically concerned about?

********************************

Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 5:03 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]

I trust you - I am just afraid of being blind sided and the article being skewed to the opposite of my intent. But overall, I trust you.

- [Kal]

********************************

Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 5:07 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

I can understand your concerns, [Kal].

I’ve written the outline already. We can talk on the phone again after it is done.

I’m still waiting on a couple of things, so hopefully next week.

Have a good day.

********************************

Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 2:13 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]

any updates?? did he ever respond?? (it has been 10 days)

- [Kal]


********************************

Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 8:24 PM

To: [Kal]

From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

No response, except from the public relations person. When I asked about the process for reporting sex abuse, she referred me to the book of discipline.

Are you still with the UMC or are you with a different denomination?

I remember during one of our phone conversations you mentioned you do still attend church and you described the process for child care and safety measures taken around that.

Can you tell me, in your church, what would happen if there were an instance of suspected sex abuse or if someone reported that?

At what point would law enforcement be contacted?

********************************

Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 10:26 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]
From: [Kal]

Are you still with the UMC or are you with a different denomination?

no. I actually was never formally a member of UMC. I now attend a non-denominational church with a loose affiliation to [Denomination].


I remember during one of our phone conversations you mentioned you do still attend church and you described the process for child care and safety measures taken around that.

yes, they are very similar to what UMC apparently does to protect children. (I spoke about this with the UMC lady in Chicago). Systems and rules in place to protect children.


Can you tell me, in your church, what would happen if there were an instance of suspected sex abuse or if someone reported that? At what point would law enforcement be contacted?

I do not have the policy memorized, I would have to look it up, but it would be reported to church leadership and then they would decide if law enforcement needed to get involved.


so what did the PR person actually say? can you forward it to me?

What are your plans moving forward?

********************************

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 4:15 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

The PR person just referred me to the book of discipline.

I’m working on the story today. It’s still a story even if they choose to not comment.

********************************

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 4:46 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

Ok. I have another question for clarity – I know you ended up speaking with the people at the [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened], but whom did you first contact? The local (in [city where the abuse happened]) church or…?

Thanks,

["Ms. Reporter"]

********************************

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 5:06 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]
From: [Kal]

[from what I sent you earlier…]

4/10/19
Wednesday at 12:21 PM

went on to the UMC website, they have "Live Chat" this is what I wrote.....

Back in the 1980's, when I lived in [state], at age 20 (though I looked 16) I was Sexually Assaulted by a
Methodist Minister. (yes it was reported to the local UMC leadership at the time.) Who do I speak to about
my experiences at a national level so that similar abuses do not occur within UMC in the future??

- [Kal]

********************************

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 5:22 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

Thank you! When I looked at the email thread you sent, I thought Becky was the first person you contacted.


So it is accurate to say the following;

In April, [Kallikrates] asked in a UMC website “live chat” whom he should speak to at a national level about his experiences. He was referred to a United Methodist Sexual Ethics staff person and then to Bishop [Regional Bishop of state where abuse happened]’s office.

********************************

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 5:24 PM
To: ["Ms. Reporter"]
From: [Kal]

Perfect.

sexual ethics person is the National HEAD of that area. based in Chicago. I think use of her full name would be appropriate - we had several discussions about what happened before getting in contact with the Bishop's office.

- [Kal]

********************************

Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 1:29 PM
To: [Kal]
From: ["Ms. Reporter"]

Thank you, [Kal],

I finished the story yesterday. It should run this week. I'm getting ready to go out of town (as you probably noticed in my auto reply).

This our website: [URL Link to Reporter’s Newspaper’s Website]

All the stories are usually posted by Wednesday afternoon.

I'll try to send you a link to the story, but my access to the internet will be somewhat limited.

********************************
 
I'll wait for your redlined version Kal. If I feel a need to follow up I'll contact you. I don't know if they'll offer readers an opportunity to comment on the article. If they do I'd be interested in responses to the article and might even post one myself. Kudos to you for being so diligent in following through with all of this, especially given the other material you've been uncovering during the recent weeks and months. This a great deal to contain. I'm glad you're receiving such excellent support from your therapists.
 
I'll wait for your redlined version Kal. If I feel a need to follow up I'll contact you. I don't know if they'll offer readers an opportunity to comment on the article. If they do I'd be interested in responses to the article and might even post one myself. Kudos to you for being so diligent in following through with all of this, especially given the other material you've been uncovering during the recent weeks and months. This a great deal to contain. I'm glad you're receiving such excellent support from your therapists.
only Registered users (requires a paid subscription). but many of their articles go on Facebook, also.
 
Here is the full article (red-lined, of course)

*******************************

Man gets closure 30 years after sexual assault
["Ms. Reporter"]

—————————————

[CITY] — More than 30 years after he was sexually assaulted by a pastor at the United Methodist Church in [City], [Kal Kallikrates] is getting some closure.

In April, [Kallikrates] asked in a UMC website “live chat” whom he should speak to at a national level about his experiences.

He was referred to the head of United Methodist Sexual Ethics, based in Chicago, and then to Bishop [Regional Bishop of state where abuse happened]’s office, in the [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened].

“I wanted to make sure that current leadership knew of what happened,” [Kallikrates] said. “I wanted to make sure that safeguards were in place so that nothing similar happens in the future.”

The incident happened in 1984, when [Kallikrates] was 20 years old. He reported it in 1986.

[Kallikrates] and his college ministry leader met with [Rev. M-P], but at that time [Rev. M-P] “denied everything,” [Kallikrates] said, so “the issue was dropped.”

[Kallikrates] stopped going to the church in [City] and told a pastor at his new church about the incident about a year later when he heard [Rev. M-P] may have been exhibiting similar behavior with others.

That led to another meeting with [Rev. M-P].

After that meeting in 1987, [Rev. M-P] wrote a letter of apology to [Kallikrates], which [Kallikrates] learned of only recently.

[Kallikrates] did not receive the letter at time, which he said may be attributed to his moving. He was a college student at the time.

In the letter, [Rev. M-P] apologized for his “conduct with” him.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” [Rev. M-P] said in the letter. “In no way were you responsible nor in any way did you encourage my conduct.”

[Rev. M-P] did not specify what his “conduct” was.

“Since the first part of June, I have been in counseling,” [Rev. M-P] said in the letter. “This experience has been very helpful and valuable. I have gained many understandings about myself. I can now say with confidence that no such type of activity will occur again.”

He ended the letter by saying he was “grateful and thankful for the manner in which you have dealt with your concerns. Again, the actions that you took were totally appropriate.”

Officials at the [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened] of the United Methodist Church verified the authenticity of the letter.

[Rev. M-P] died in 2014.

According to his obituary, [Rev. M-P] ended his full-time employment at the United Methodist Church in 1987 but continued to serve as a part-time pastor until 1999.

In correspondence between [Kallikrates] and UMC officials, they were apologetic and agreed to pay a portion of his therapy bills, though the officials and [Kallikrates] are in disagreement about the amount.

According to correspondence between [Kallikrates] and UMC officials, there were at least two other victims, though details of those situations were not given.

[Kallikrates] hopes that coming forward with his story will help others who may have had similar experiences in the church.

The [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened] of the United Methodist Church declined to comment for this story.

[“Ms. PR Person”], the [Regional Governing Body] UMC interim communications director sent the [Newspaper] a statement from [“Ms. Assistant-2”], director of connectional ministries/assistant to the bishop.

“We believe it’s improper to comment on the specifics of the case the [Newspaper] is referencing here in the [Regional Governing Body of state where abuse happened] of the United Methodist Church because we believe in the sanctity of preserving the privacy of individuals who have filed complaints of clergy misconduct,” [“Ms. Assistant-2”] said in the statement. “If at any time that trust is broken because of misconduct by a clergyperson, the ([Regional Governing Body]) investigates these matters thoroughly, using processes put in place from our United Methodist Church ‘Book of Discipline’ so that justice, reconciliation, healing and wholeness may be realized by all concerned. This has been the practice and policy of The United Methodist Church and this [Regional Governing Body] for decades and will continue to be in the future.”

While [Kallikrates] now lives out of state, he thought it would be beneficial to tell his story.

“I was hoping there could be some sort of outreach so that other probable victims, who have never come forward, would know that they could come forward, that they would be believed, and that help is out there,” [Kallikrates] said. “And that they would be believed.”
 
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